As a boy I remember hating baths. I would rather my mom simply leave me to sit and marinate all night in sweat and dirt. I remember one time telling her I’ll be fine in the morning…as if somehow the marinating process would automagically (I think I just made up a word I think) make me clean and ready for the next day.
As time passed, I grew up…kinda…sort of…ok not really, but I got older how’s that? Nicky, not often, but sometimes informs me that if I wish to sleep beside her I ought to take a shower. Or find a comfy place on the couch.
Seriously though it must be a kid thing because my girls will come in from playing, sweaty and dirty, and the minute we say bath time they scatter like cockroaches when the light shines on them!
I wish I was making this up!
There is wailing and gnashing of teeth as they are forced into this horrible torture chamber otherwise known as “The Shower”! But I digress.
It comes to mind of a time that I was outside working on the yard, then in the garage, and up in the attic all while the temperature was a cool 96 degrees. I was caked in layers of crusted sweat and dirt. Not a pretty sight. You know that feeling when you’ve gotten sweaty and dirty then cool off? That crud dries to a crust and then you start working again and add another layer to the crust.
Yea – it was that bad.
Nicky didn’t need to tell me to take a shower this time. I pretty much was well aware of it.
Why talk about all of this? This little insight into the Diller’s shower habits brings to mind spiritual application. Yes it does – just bear with me! Psalm 51 offers a window for us to peer into the heart of David as he responds to Nathan’s confrontation of David’s sin.
The short version is lust. David noticed a woman. David choose to continue looking at the woman when he shouldn’t have (see Matthew 5:28). David manipulated circumstances so that her husband would be killed (um that is murder no matter how you slice it). And then took the woman as his wife.
Yea for a king that was pretty shameful.
This psalm is David’s prayer for pardon. David owns his mistake, blames no one but himself, and seeks to restore his relationship with God. There is one verse I would like to examine.
Psalm 51:2 Wash me thoroughly and repeatedly from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin! Amplified Bible
What I want to point out is how the amplified bible presents the word thoroughly. Looking that word up in Strong’s reveals the following
The language of washing is a word picture of washing a really filthy piece of clothing – one that needs washed abundantly many times because it is just that dirty.
It is as if David is describing how he feels dirty. I remember listening to someone give a testimony about their experience with God. They described themselves, after asking Jesus to forgive their sins, as feeling clean. Yet prior to forgiveness, they had no idea they were dirty! They were now able to recognize being soiled with sin.
This is how David feels. He is crying out to God,
“I don’t care how many times or how long you have to wash me, just make me clean God! Give me a clean heart and a steadfast spirit!” (See Psalm 51:10)
If you listen closely you can hear the tears and sobs as David cries out to God. I’ve been there – and I recognize them.
It is like that crust of dirt and sweat. I came in from working that day, went right to the shower, and began washing up for dinner. I had to thoroughly (and repeatedly) wash to get all the dirt off so that there was none left.
This is what David is asking God for! “Wash me so clean that there is no speck of dirt left!”
You know, there is a good feeling when you step out of the shower after a long dirty day like that. It just feels good to be clean. Isn’t it great that we can feel that clean too in our hearts?!?! God makes us whiter than snow as David asks in verse 7.
What is even better is that not only are we washed but our sin is blotted out as David writes in verse 9. Now this gives me holy bumps all over! To blot out does not mean to simply cover up as if God was taking a paint brush and covering up our sin and trying to hide the imperfections. That goes against the grain of grace and mercy. God does much more than that. To blot something out means to erase it, to abolish it, to destroy it.
People – that means they no longer exist in God’s sight!
David seeks from God this action pre Calvary. We have Calvary and a Savior who blots out our iniquities and doesn’t just carry them away or cover them up. We are washed clean as if they never happened!
That’s about as squeaky clean as you can get!
For those reading this that know Christ as their redeemer and savior, rejoice and be encouraged! You are made clean! Don’t wallow in past failures! God doesn’t bring them up and neither should we! The enemy will. But the same power that rose Jesus from the grave and made you clean also lives in you. Therefore rebuke the enemy confidently!
For those reading this that are exploring Christ and what He is all about, I encourage you! Continue exploring. He is waiting for you. He will not force Himself upon you but patiently and lovingly draws you to Himself. His deepest desire is to forgive you and make you clean. He wants a relationship with you. My prayer is that you have the courage to obediently respond to Him.
Don’t fight it like fighting a bath. Don’t wait till morning! Just like it was absurd for me to expect to be clean the next day after marinating all night, you also won’t be automagically clean until you ask Him to make you clean. And He is absolutely faithful and will do that!